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Buddy Holly: Rave On

Film telling the story of Buddy Holly's tragically short life and career through interviews with those who knew and worked with him, combined with contributions from music fans.

He was lanky, he wore glasses and he sang as if permanently battling hiccups. Aesthetically, Buddy Holly might have been the most unlikely looking rock 'n' roll star of the 50s. But he was, after Elvis Presley, unquestionably the most influential.

It was an all-too-brief career that lasted barely 18 months from That'll Be The Day topping the Billboard charts to the plane crash in February 1959 in Iowa that took Holly's life. That day was immortalised in Don McLean's 1971 song American Pie, and has become known as 'the day the music died'.

This film tells the story of Buddy Holly's tragically short life and career through interviews with those who knew him and worked with him. This combined with contributions from music fans paints a picture of an artist who changed music. Rock 'n' roll started with Elvis, but pop music started with Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

In an age of solo stars, Holly also led the first recognisable 'pop' group, The Crickets, who in name alone inspired The Beatles. As a songwriter, he revolutionised rock 'n' roll by introducing dynamic new rhythms and unpredictable melodies beyond its traditional blues roots. In his songs, written and recorded in the late 50s, we can already hear the beat group sound of the 60s and beyond.

Buddy Holly's story remains one of the most dramatic tales in rock 'n' roll, one which nearly 60 years after his breakthrough hit That'll Be The Day, deserves to be told again for a new generation. His life was tragically short. His legacy is triumphantly infinite.

13 days left to watch

1 hour

Last on

Fri 31 Jan 2020 22:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Buddy Holly

    You and I Are Through

  • Buddy Holly & Bob Montgomery

    Flower of My Heart

  • Buddy Holly

    Love Me

  • Buddy Holly

    Blue Days Black Nights

  • Buddy Holly

    That’ll Be The Day (1956 recording)

  • Buddy Holly

    That’ll Be The Day (1957 recording)

  • Buddy Holly

    I'm Looking For Someone To Love

  • Buddy Holly

    Peggy Sue

  • Buddy Holly


  • Buddy Holly

    Not Fade Away

  • Buddy Holly


  • The Crickets

    Maybe Baby

  • Buddy Holly

    Well Allright

  • Buddy Holly

    Rave On

  • The Crickets

    Oh Boy!

  • Buddy Holly

    Changing All Those Changes

  • Buddy Holly

    Words Of Love

  • Buddy Holly

    Raining In My Heart

  • Buddy Holly

    It Doesn’t Matter Any More

  • Buddy Holly

    True Love Ways

  • Don McLean

    American Pie

  • The Quarrymen

    That’ll Be The Day

  • Elvis Presley

    Baby Let’s Play House


Role Contributor
Production Company 1515 Productions Ltd
Director George Scott
Producer Nick de Grunwald
Producer Celia Moore
Participant Jerry Allison
Participant Maria Elena Holly
Participant Larry Holley
Participant Sonny West
Participant David Bigham
Participant Kevin Montgomery
Participant Don McLean
Participant Edna Gundersen
Participant Paul Anka
Participant Dion DiMucci
Participant Sonny Curtis
Participant Bob Harris
Participant Don Everly
Participant Albert Lee
Participant Hank Marvin
Participant Robert Wyatt
Participant Brian May
Participant Larry Welborn


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